If you’re an HTM manager of biomedical services, there’s a good chance you’re doing a huge job without the resources or tools you think you need. When maintaining medical equipment without enough resources, it seems you have a choice…not a good choice…but a choice. Do you overburden yourself and your staff, or do you let the equipment and institution fail? Both options can potentially end with a patient being hurt.
Now that your medical equipment service budget hasn’t been approved for the third year in a row, and you’re being asked to do more with the same tools and resources you had last year…sorry to be the bearer of bad news…but getting better budget outcomes will require you to put your anger, fear, frustration, concern, and uncertainty aside so you can start doing the following:
1. Find out who really makes the decision on your budget.
Watch out here! Sometimes, the person you report to may say they’re the decision maker, but they really aren’t. In those cases, you’ll have to be more careful, but don’t stop until you know for sure who’s controlling your budget destiny.
2. Once you’ve found out who really has the last word on your budget, find out what is important to the decision maker.
Knowing what’s important to those with influence over your destiny, your staff’s satisfaction, and your patient’s safety will at least give you a choice about how to proceed. Often, the choice will entail giving something up, or trying to do something most technical personalities consider uncomfortable…schmoozing. Get as close as you can to the decision maker, and you if you can genuinely try your best to understand the challenges they’re facing, you’ll have a chance of finding a path to persuading. *Another caution here…people at their level can see through people who are disingenuous. Remember, they deal with sales people on a daily basis. At the very least, this approach will ease the disappointment of not getting your budget because you will have a better understanding of the following:
3. Now you know who and what, let's focus on the Why?
If you can do what you’ve read above (Who and What), you’ll have a great chance of understanding why. If you know what’s driving the decision maker to put your budget lower on their priorities of available budget dollars, you can shape your own outcomes. This information is powerful in its own context. It better prepares you to shape your case for future budget discussions with the facts and figures you need to get the approval.
Getting to this point means you’ve already won, and I hope you can see how.
Good luck during this budget season! Remember, every victory you have with your budget can help future generations of HTM professions who will be fighting for better position during the annual budget race.